Research has demonstrated that eating every 2-3 hours is one of the most important changes you can make to your diet. Regular feeding intervals stimulate the metabolism, balance blood sugar, and improve health, body composition, and performance.
How many meals should you eat? Aim for 5-6, or simply divide the number of hours you are awake by 3 (i.e.: 15 hours / 3 = 5 meals)
Should you eat before bed time? Yes! Forget what you’ve heard before, it’s not true, promise. You’ll be fasting for 8-9 hours during sleep; your body will need those nutrients!
Snacks are not meals! Each meal is a feeding opportunity, the opportunity to make your body better or worse. Besides if you’re eating every 2-3 hours you won’t have time to snack.
It’s critical to eat some complete, lean protein with every feeding opportunity. Women should aim for 20-30 grams of protein per meal and men should aim for 40-60 grams per meal. By doing this you’ll be sure to maximally stimulate your metabolism, improve your muscle mass and recovery
Science has demonstrated that in addition to the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) packed into veggies; there are also important plant chemicals (phytochemicals) that are essential for optimal physiological functioning.
Even more interesting: veggies and fruits provide an alkaline load to the blood. Since both proteins and grains present acid loads to the blood, it’s important to balance these acids with alkaline rich vegetables and fruit. Too much acid and not enough alkalinity means the loss of bone strength and muscle mass.
Eat non-fruit and non-vegetable carbohydrates (i.e.: simple sugars, sports drinks, rice, pasta, potatoes, etc) during and within the few hours after exercise only.
But can’t these carbs make you fat? Not as long as you save them for the workout and post-workout periods. In fact, the best times to consume these types of carbs are on upon awakening (breakfast) and after your workout (post-workout).
About 30 % of the diet should come from fat- not much less, not much more. However, special care should be made to ensure that this intake is balanced between 1/3 saturated, 1/3 monounsaturated and a 1/3 polyunsaturated fat. By balancing out your fat intake, health, body composition, and performance can be optimised.
It’s important that you include fish oil supplements in your nutrition plan. Fish oil supplements improve body composition (that is, they help you lose fat and look leaner) and protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more.
Fruit juice, soda, and other sugary beverages should be completely eliminated from the diet. Even fruit juice? That’s right. Contrary to popular belief fruit juices have virtually no nutritional value whatsoever and are certainly no substitute for actual fruits and vegetables. Drink water or herbal tea.
Your food intake should come from high quality whole food sources that conform to the other 9 habits listed here. While there are certain times where liquid nutrition supplements or protein bars are useful (during and immediately after exercise or while travelling), your daily dietary intake should be composed of whole largely unprocessed foods. When it comes to vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, no pills can even come close to what good old fruit and veggies contain.
The hardest part about eating well isn’t necessarily about understanding which foods are good and which foods are bad. Nor is it understanding proteins carbs and fats. Nor is it understanding when to eat certain foods. The hardest part is consistency. Sometimes good nutrition is not about the food as much as it is about making sure the food is available when it is time to eat. Come up with useful food preparation strategies in order to ensure you can consistently get the nutrition you need, when you need it. Failing to plan is planning fail.
Most of us eat in a very habitual manner ingesting similar breakfasts, lunches and dinner’s day in and day out. Boring but easy. Find healthy alternatives to the foods you habitually eat. Be sure to eat a variety of protein sources fruit and vegetables sources etc and rotate them.
An important thing to remember is this – your diet does not have to be perfect 100% of the time. The difference in results between 90% adherence and 100% adherence is negligible.
BUT, you have to be sure what 10% really means. For example if you are eating 6 times per day for 7 days of the week – that is 42 feeding opportunities. Since 10% of 42 is about 4, you get to get 4 imperfect feeding opportunities per week. These imperfect feeding opportunities include both junk food and even skipped feedings. Therefore, if you break even just one of the ten rules that counts as one of your 10%.
Dr. John M. Berardi, PH.D, 2005
|Vitamins||Nutrient for||Wonderfood sources|
|Vitamin A/ Beta Carotene||Antioxidant, protects skin and internal skin- lungs, gut, eyes, reproduction, immunity||Apricot, broccoli, carrot, kale, sweet potato, pumpkin, melon, watermelon, egg|
|Vitamin B1||Energy production, nervous system, carbohydrate processing||Beans, sunflower seeds, fish, brown rice, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat, molasses, chicken, turkey, lamb, egg|
|Vitamin B2||Energy, skin, nervous system||Almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, oats, spinach, yogurt, Egg, fish, chicken, turkey, lamb|
|Vitamin B3||Energy, nervous system, moods, blood sugar balance, cholesterol balance, stress response, hormonal balance||Chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, seeds beans, lentils, soya, yogurt|
|Vitamin B5||Energy production, bodys stress response, regeneration of cells, anti-inflammatory, immunity||Egg, fish, chicken, turkey, lamb, brown rice, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat, lentils, soy|
|Vitamin B6||Energy production, nervous system, moods and brain power, hormone balance, protein digestion, immunity||Turkey, lamb, fish, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, brown rice, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat avocado, banana, seeds, beans, lentils|
|Vitamin B12||Brain and nervous system, red blood cell formation, lowers toxic homocysteine, cellular energy and reproduction||Eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, lamb, yogurt|
|Folic Acid||Brain and nervous system, especially in foetal growth, cellular energy and reproduction, moods, cardiovascular health, red blood cell formation, lowers toxic homocysteine||All fruits, beans, lentils, soya, spinach, kale, parsley, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat|
|Biotin||Energy production, fat and amino acid processing, skin, hair, nails||Egg, brown rice, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat, lentils, fish, seeds|
|Vitamin C||Antioxidant, collagen formation, skin, blood vessels and gums, aids iron absorption, immunity, helps protect against illness, allergies, pollution, stress and aging, anti-inflammatory||Blackcurrants, berries, broccoli, cabbage, citrus fruit, sweet pepper, kale, kiwi, papaya, spinach, tomato, watercress|
|Vitamin D||Helps calcium usage, bones and teeth, some cancer protection||Fish, eggs, yogurt|
|Vitamin E||Antioxidant, immunity, protects skin, brain, circulation, hormones, cardiovascular system||Almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, seeds and seed oils, egg|
|Vitamin K||Blood clotting, bone building||Alfalfa sprouts, kale, parsley, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, green tea|
|Minerals||Nutrient for||Wonderfood sources|
|Calcium||Bone building, muscle contraction and relaxation, regular heartbeat, blood clotting, nerve transmission||Almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, seeds, kale, spinach, broccoli, canned fish, yogurt, molasses|
|Chromium||Processing of carbohydrates and sugars, blood sugar balance, works with insulin||Chicken, turkey, lamb, egg, fish, brown rice, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts|
|Copper||Production and transport of red blood cells, iron absorption, antioxidant||Fish, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, seeds, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat|
|Iodine||Forms part of thyroid hormone||Fish, seaweed|
|Iron||Forms part of haemoglobin i.e. helps transport oxygen, other uses include cell reproduction||Egg, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish, prunes, seeds, seaweed, spinach, kale, brown rice, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat|
|Magnesium||Energy production, hormone balance, muscle and nerve function, cardiovascular health, blood sugar balance, works with calcium||Brown rice, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat, seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, molasses|
|Manganese||Antioxidant, energy production, nerves and brain, blood sugar balance, thyroid function||Avocado, berries, buckwheat, ginger, hazelnuts, oats, seaweed spinach|
|Potassium||Works with sodium to control fluid balance, blood pressure, nerves, muscles||Avocado, banana, citrus fruit, lentils, nuts, sardines, spinach, whole grains|
|Selenium||Antioxidant, works with vitamin e, immunity, cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory||Fish, seeds, brown rice, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat, walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds|
|Sulpher||Antioxidant, helps liver detox, collagen production, shin, hair, nails||Cabbage, egg, fish, garlic, onion|
|Zinc||Antioxidant, growth and development, all protein production, energy production, hormone production and balance, digestion, sexual function, skin health||Egg, fish, turkey, lamb, seeds, yogurt|
|Other essential nutrients||Nutrient for||Wonderfood sources|
|Essential Fatty Acid||As their name suggests, these are types of fat that the body cannot produce itself, so they must be obtained from food. They are needed for good hormone balance, healthy nerve and brain activity, smooth skin, cardiovascular health, they also have anti-inflammatory properties||Fish, seeds, nuts|
|Protein||These are molecules made of amino acids linked together in particular order specified by a gene. They are needed for the structure, function, and regulation of all the bodys cells and organs. Hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes, transporters, and immune cells are proteins||Egg, fish, turkey, chicken, lamb, yogurt, soya, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils|
|Carbohydrate||These are mainly sugars and starches that the body breaks down into glucose, a simple sugar used as fuel for the cells to make energy. They are found in sugar, all cereals, the wonderfoods listed to the right and other foods. The body also uses carbohydrate to make a substance called glycogen, which is stored in the body for future use.||All fruit and vegetables, rice, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, rye, sweet potatoes, lentils, beans, honey|
|Endive_||Asparagus_||Bell Peppers_||Belgian Endive_||Cabbage|
|Bok Choy_||Broccoli_||Blackberries_||Bok Choy_||Carrots|
|Cherimoya_||Collard Greens_||Boysenberries_||Brussels Sprouts_||Lemons|
|Chestnuts_||English Peas_||Cantaloupe_||Butternut Squash_||Lettuce|
|Coconuts_||Fava Beans_||Casaba Melon_||Cauliflower_||Onions|
|Grapefruit_||Fiddlehead _||Crenshaw Melon_||Chayote Squash_||Bell Peppers|
|Oranges_||Morel Mushrooms_||Garlic_||Diakon Radish_|
|Pummelo_||Pea Pods_||Green Peas_||Guava_|
|Sweet Potatoes_||Snow Peas_||Limes_||Mushrooms_|
|Winter Squash_||Spring Baby Lettuce_||Okra_||Persimmons_|
|Sweet Corn_||Persian Melons_||Pomegranate_|
|Sugar Snap Peas_||Plums_||Pumpkin_|
|Sweet Corn_||Swish Chard|